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Agreement reached over illegal Korean guides

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit, representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Southern Region 4 office and representatives of Korean tour operators yesterday agreed on the conditions to be included in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will ensure that Korean tour operators hire Thai guides.

Signatures to the MOU will be Governor Niran, TAT Southern Region 4 office Director Suwalai Pinprabap, Kim Tae Woen, Phuket Tourist Association President Maitree Narukatpichai,

Promchote Traivate of the Phuket Office of Sports and Recreation Development, Phuket Professional Guide Association President Panompol Thummachartaiyom and Chairman of Phuket Chamber of Commerce Pamuke Atchariyachai.

It was agreed to sign the MOU on September 19.

Kim Tae Woen, Chairman of the Korean Association in Phuket and the Korean Consul in Phuket, in his role as representative of the 54 Korean tour operators in Phuket, yesterday verbally agreed to the following conditions:

1. Korean tour operators will hire Thai guides within 15 days of them passing the Korean-language test (set by the provincial government); with standard remuneration and work conditions and employing them to conduct “Full Tour” work as per TAT standard.

2. Thai guides already working for Korean tour operators must sit the Korean language test.

3. Korean tour operators have the right not to hire Thai guides who do not pass the language test or have the appropriate qualifications.

4. Korean tour operators will allow provincial officers to check whether Thai guides working for the operators are doing the work of guides and to appropriate standards. Korean tour operators also agree to develop their Thai guides’ Korean-language skills through internal and external training.

5. Thai guides must pass the Korean-language test every three months to maintain their employment with Korean tour operators.

6. Korean tour operators agree to improve the quality of their tours through delivery of useful cultural information to the tourist and to promote the good image of the province.

In addition, it was agreed that the Thai guides who are qualified to work Korean tours be issued “silver” guide licenses to identify them as official Korean-speaking guides.

To be issued the license, Thai guides must pass a panel interview comprising four native Korean speakers: two appointed by the Korean Association in Phuket and two appointed by the Thai Guide Association.

Rapeepat Na Nakorn said that the provincial government will pick up the 50,000-baht tab for organizing the Korean-language tests, which will be held at Phuket Community College at Saphan Hin from September 28 to 30. Applications for the test will be accepted from September 10 to 21.

The revised conditions follows the August 30 meeting of Korean Ambassador Han Tae-Kyu with Gov Niran. (Click here to see full story)


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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